We are well into running season. With one race under my belt and another coming up this weekend, I’m thinking about sprucing up my running wardrobe. Below are 4 tips for dressing for a summer run…
1) Run in performance wear – Gone are the days of running in cotton t-shirts and cut off sweatpants. When cotton gets wet, it stays wet and that weighs you down. Nowadays running clothes are typically made from synthetic fabrics like nylon, polyester and spandex. These fabrics are durable, light and moisture-wicking. As you sweat, they wick moisture away from your skin, keeping you cool while you run. At Mountain Graphics we offer performance wear tops in many styles so you can find something for any type of weather. Running shorts come in a variety of lengths. Most have hidden pockets to store a car key, tissues or some shot blocks. Make sure the ones you choose offer plenty of stretch for ease of movement while running.
2) Buy good fitting running shoes – Learn from my mistakes. I spent years wearing the wrong size shoe and have the blisters to prove it. Go to a running store and have your feet measured – your size can change as you age and your feet swell throughout the day so go late in the afternoon. Don’t pick a pair of shoes solely based on looks. Try them on and run. Running shoes should feel great when you first try them on. Don’t buy a pair and think the fit will improve after you’ve broken them in. Brake them in before your next race. Give yourself a few weeks to phase them into your running routine.
3) Invest in a good fitting Sports Bra – Ok, this is another area where I’ve made plenty of mistakes. Sports bras are expensive, so running in my sister’s hand-me-down bras seemed like a good idea at the time. Except she’s much better ‘endowed’ than I am. Keeping them for 10 years or until they start falling apart seemed like another cost-effective idea. In the end, it’s best to shell out the money for good support. The type of bra you’ll need will depend on your cup size and your level of activity. REI provides great instruction on how to choose the sports bra that’s right for you. Click HERE to read more on this topic.
4) Buy running socks – your feet will thank you for it! Running socks come in many different materials so it can be confusing to choose the right pair. You want to avoid socks that are made from 100% cotton. When cotton gets wet, it stays wet, making your feet cold and clammy or worse, causing blisters. Just as with your running clothes, you want to choose socks that are made from synthetic materials such as polyester, acrylic or Coolmax. Running socks also come in a range of thickness. Some people like socks that are very thin, particularly in the summer when it’s warm. Others want socks with more padding for cushioning. Running socks also have different heights: most brands come in crew, quarter crew and mini-crew. Again, it’s your personal choice what feels most comfortable to you but take into consideration that if you’re running trails, the higher the sock the more dirt will be kept out of your shoe.